The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance is the place to be this month for the 2014 BAAD!ASS Women Festival, held March 8-29, 2014.
This month-long festival of dance, theatre, video, poetry and performance features fierce women in the arts, including the celebrated and legendary Cherrie Moraga; the 20th Anniversary screening of Frances Negron-Montuna’s “Brincando El Charco”; Linda Nieves-Powell’s “Soledad Speaks”; and a no-holds-barred dance concert featuring 8 choreographers.
The roster of events launched on March 8 with “Sole Sisters,” a “dance until you stop” opening night party featuring choreographers including Jennifer Chin, Jessica Danser-Schwartz, Valerie Green, Shizu Homma, Nadine Martinez, MAWU, K. Rizz and Yuko Snowbunny.
On Thursday, March 13, “Four to the Floor” features four sensational choreographers and a powerful poet who break dance traditions and honor them with dynamic, graceful and sassy performances. Featured artists include Fatima Logan, Jasmin Rituper, Laura Shapiro and Pepatian, presenting Cynthia Paniagua and Caridad de la Luz/La Bruja in a Shadowlands excerpt.
On Friday, March 14, steel yourself for “So You Can Hear Me,” Safiya Martinez’s powerful solo show about an inexperienced 23-year-old’s first year as a teacher in a Bronx school. As she’s thrust into a challenging situation she journeys toward womanhood and reveals a series of humanizing narratives based her students’ vulnerability, bravery, tenderness and love.
Also catch, “Heels on Wheels in the Bronx,” a group of interdisciplinary performing artists who create performance-based cultural works and community events that have a radical, feminist agenda with feminine, queer embodiment that reveal the power in under-represented communities. The show features Shomi Noiseer, Kirya Traber, Damien Luxe and Heather María Ács.
The festival continues on March 19 with the workshop, Contemporary Dance for La Mujer Maravilla. This dance master class will be facilitated by queer Latina performance artist Awilda Rodríguez Lora aka La Performera. The class is for intermediate/advanced dancers and will focus in the training, strength and movement of the Mujer Maravilla (The Wonder Woman) that is within us. Focusing in straightening the core through dance, yoga and fitness.
A free event welcomes all to “Lit Night,” on March 20, when eight poets — J. Skye Cabrera, Yoseli Castillo, Nyna Kennedy, Sheila Maldonado, Alice Myerson, Sargenta G, Kirya Traber and YaliniDream — bring their bravado and verve to riff on life, love, passion and peace.
On Friday, March 21, “Voices Rising” is an eclectic evening of song that goes right to the heart and soul, with performances by Pola Chapelle, Ganessa James and Itoro Udofia.
On Saturday, March 22, Awilda Rodríguez Lora will present “El Velorio de la Comay,” (The Comay’s Wife), a striking and empowering autobiographical solo that boldly grapples with domestic violence, expressions of femininity and machismo in Puerto Rican culture, while portraying the visceral and precarious situation of being loved, hated, destroyed and desired.
The month of events concludes in a hot weekend of events, starting with the Thursday, March 27 BAAD and Mix NYC 20th anniversary screening of Frances Negrón-Muntaner’s “Brincando El Charco,” the story of a middle-class, light-skinned Puerto Rican photographer/videographer who goes on an identity quest exploring what it means to be Puerto Rican, gay and an artist.
On Friday, March 28, award-winning playwright Linda Nieves-Powell presents “Soledad Speaks,” an evolutionary and revolutionary stageplay featuring the poetry of four dynamic female poets: Meriam Rodríguez, Maria Rodríguez, Peggy Robles-Alvarado, and JF Seary, with choreography by Milteri Tucker. The play revisits the colonization of Puerto Rico and the effects on its women, and journey from slavery, to rebellion, to freedom to show how their legacy has defined who we are today.
The festival wraps up on Saturday, March 29 with “An Intimate Evening With Cherrie Moraga,” dramatic readings of new works and conversation with the Chicana writer, feminist, activist, poet, essayist and playwright whose works explore the ways in which gender, sexuality and race intersect in the lives of women of color. She co-edited with the late Gloria Anzaldúa, the groundbreaking, American Book Award-winning “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color,” which laid the foundation for third wave feminism.
The 2014 BAAD!ASS Women’s Festival also features assorted events such as the Bomba Dance Class with Milteri Tucker, and other special events.)
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